RNA - Speaking on France-Inter radio on Sunday, Le Drian announced that “Assad won the war, we have to state this. But he hasn’t won the peace".
According to the foreign minister, the West would retaliate if сhemical weapons are used against civilians in the looming battle in the province of Idlib.
He further claimed that even if the government's forces managed to retake Idlib – the last terrorist stronghold – it would not solve the problems that triggered the war seven years ago.
Le Drian also added that France will use this month’s UN General Assembly to push for a peaceful solution in Syria, and is currently involved in negotiations with the guarantors of peace in the region – Russia, Turkey and Iran – to push them to use their clout with Assad to make political talks happen after the war is over.
In late August, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Paris was ready to conduct further airstrikes against Syria if Damascus were to use chemical weapons, adding that "we will continue acting this way if we see new confirmed cases of the chemical weapons use".
According to Fars News Agancy, the French president later stated that he feared a grave humanitarian crisis in Idlib, stressing that France expected Russia and Turkey to pressure the Syrian government over the situation in the province.
In August, Russian military officials warned of a plot by terrorists and the so-called White Helmets to stage a chemical provocation in order to provoke a new round of Western retaliation against the Syrian government.
Back in April, several Western media outlets reported that Syrian government forces had used chemical substances against civilians in the city of Douma in Damascus province. While the Syrian authorities vehemently denied any involvement, branding the "attack" a false flag, the US, France and the UK carried out joint airstrikes against several targets in Syria.